NMLA Annual Conference 2017

I recently attended the New Mexico Library Association annual conference. It was a great opportunity to meet with other librarians, find out about all the great projects that are happening around the state, and gain some new information. The academic special interest group (ACRL-NM) also met to discuss activities of the past year and plans for the upcoming one. Our new officers were announced including myself as incoming chair, our new chair-elect, Jim Fisk, from the University of New Mexico-Gallup, and our new secretary, Monika Glowacka-Musial from New Mexico State University.  The SIG sponsored a pre-conference workshop on copyright and a poster session. I was able to attend both. I gained some great tips for handling copyright issues in libraries, and the poster presenters also shared some interesting and helpful information.

As a government documents librarian, one of the sessions I found most helpful was “Government Information Resources for All Ages and Interests.” However, this information was also useful for a variety of types of libraries and library users. It was presented by Kathy Bayer of the U.S. Government Publishing Office. Kathy is an outreach librarian with GPO, and has been able to visit most of the depositories in New Mexico over the past two years as part of their “GPO on the Go” initiative. She described the depository library system briefly for attendees. She also provided information about GovInfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/) a database of government information resources. GovInfo is currently in beta, but the complete site will be up in December of this year. The information on GovInfo includes legislation, Congressional hearings, and many other documents. The site also has a section with tutorials and informational handouts about GovInfo. These can be used to inform staff and patrons about this resource.

Some other helpful sites that were discussed include:

  • The Catalog of Government Publications: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F?RN=109301707 – A finding tool for government publications. You can explore new print and electronic material by clicking on the “new titles” tab on the homepage.
  • Cyber Cemetery: https://govinfo.library.unt.edu/default.htm – An archive of defunct government websites provided through a partnership between GPO and the University of North Texas Libraries.
  • Gov Book Talk Blog: https://govbooktalk.gpo.gov/ – A blog from GPO that highlights new and popular government publications.

At the conference, I also co-presented a session on the New Mexico shared regional depository for government documents with Monica Dorame from the University of New Mexico and Lori Thornton from the New Mexico State Library. In 2016, UNM, NMSU, and NMSL entered into an agreement to share the regional collection of government documents. All of these libraries receive official documents produced by federal government agencies as members of the Federal Depository Library Program. Previously, the University of New Mexico was the regional federal depository library for the state, meaning they received 100% of material produced by the Government Publishing Office. Because regionals are not currently allowed to withdraw any materials, this new agreement frees space and allows the three libraries to each house just a portion of that large collection. The three libraries will now house only the classification numbers and government agency publications most relevant to their institutions. This session at the conference described the implementation of this shared collection. The libraries are currently in the process of comparing collections and transferring materials. If any selective depositories have questions about procedures in the future, they may contact any of the three regional coordinators.

Aside from the government information sessions, there were several other great academic programs. ACRL-NM chapter strives to ensure that there is an academic track at the conference each year. I encourage you to consider sharing your knowledge on topics relevant to academic libraries at the mini-conference in April or the next annual conference in November 2018. The academic SIG hopes to have more conference activities next year and other academic library programming including ACRL webinars. You can always contact me with ideas you have or programming you would like to see at sscarter@nmsu.edu. I look forward to next year’s conference and the activities that are planned for the academic SIG. I hope you will participate!

 

Stephanie Carter, 2017-18 ACRL-NM Chair

Government Documents Librarian

New Mexico State University

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What We Share is What We Bring. How Shared Knowledge in the Library Profession Builds Connections and Careers.

Turn Up the Volume!, the joint conference of the Nevada Library Association (NLA) and the Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) was held in Stateline, Nevada on the shores of Lake Tahoe. The goal of my attendance was to see how a twelve-state organization such as MPLA, continues to have a high level of participation and communication among its members.  In my role as the chair of the ACRL New Mexico Chapter, now past chair, I have tried to bring together academic librarians from all over the state of New Mexico to participate in professional development. What I did observe during my time at the conference was the fact that MPLA has been established for some time, and the members have been involved for many years. Our chapter is still developing and trying to figure out what our role is within NMLA and as a chapter. It has been and will continue to be a work in progress.  Throughout the two-day conference I was reminded that this profession is about many things, and one of them is the need for relationships, both professional and personal.

The opening keynote speaker was the President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Greg Harris. When I first saw this on the schedule I wondered how will this opening keynote set the tone for the conference. As Harris started his talk he began with a cover of “I Fought the Law” by The Clash. Harris discussed the importance of The Clash in music history, and their influence within the “punk rock” genre. The choice of the song was key to the theme of his speech. While The Clash did not write the song, nor made it famous, everyone in the room knew of the lyrics, “I fought the law and the law won.” Originally made famous by Bobby Fuller Four and in 1978, sung by Hank Williams, Jr., different generations of library professionals who may have heard one of those versions had a shared experience. This was Harris’s point throughout: music, in whatever style, provides a shared experience. He went on to talk about the changes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame implemented over the last ten years and how the mission changed from a nostalgic based approach to a music enthusiast approach. The focus of the museum shifted to music enthusiasts that wanted the stories and history behind rock and roll, not just seeing the ephemera.

To end his speech, Harris asked if anyone knew the name Doc Pomus. One librarian in the room raised her hand. Doc Pomus was an American songwriter, whose hits included “This Magic Moment” and “Viva Las Vegas.” Harris was describing an exhibition case in the museum that had a picture of Doc on his wedding day at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, along with a place card from the wedding. Doc Pomus had polio and could not function without crutches. As the story goes, he watched his bride dance with her father, her brother, family members, and friends when he could not. On the back of the place card he wrote, “Save the Last Dance For Me” and that night after his wedding wrote the song, which became a hit for The Drifters.

Telling this story, Harris shared rock and roll history, gave the audience new information, but with the words “Save the Last Dance For Me” everyone in that room heard the song start playing in their head. It could have been any version but in that small moment everyone in that room, over 200 people, were connected. Making connections is how we build relationships, whether through music or through our roles as library professionals. This was a topic of conversation throughout the week and my focus for coming to the conference. While sessions on the most innovative tools or approaches to instruction or public service are helpful in continuing our education, one important thing is the building of relationships with other professionals in our field. Attending conferences, chapter meetings, and interactive webinars are the first steps.

The ACRL New Mexico Chapter continues to move forward with these first steps but attending this joint conference and meeting the members of MPLA, it became clear that our chapter is only as strong as our members. We have slowly built relationships throughout the state and we need to continue. Continuing discussion on this topic took place at the chapter meeting at the New Mexico Library Association Conference, ideas mentioned were virtual brown bag meetings using the conference software Zoom and ways to populate the chapter blog. It may not be as cool as music from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but we came make it New Mexican.

NM Libraries to Complete ACRL Survey 2017

The Association of College & Research Libraries has opened its annual survey. All New Mexico academic libraries are encouraged to submit the 2017 ACRL survey. When NM academic libraries submit the survey, it becomes possible to compare data across institutions and view data trends over time. Survey data is useful when we need to justify a General Obligation (GO) bond for libraries, when we require additional data to supplement needs assessments, and when we want to advocate for resources or funding within our own institutions. We are empowered to make better decisions when we have access to better data.

The 2017 survey deadline is February 28, 2018. Libraries are asked to report on data collected during the previous fiscal year (including staff salaries, materials expenditures, operations and maintenance expenditures, library collections, circulation, and library services).

In 2016 the following NM institutions submitted the ACRL Survey:

  • Clovis Community College
  • College of the Southwest
  • Eastern New Mexico University
  • Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell
  • Institute of American Indian Arts
  • Navajo Technical College
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • New Mexico State University
  • New Mexico State University – Carlsbad
  • New Mexico State University – Dona Ana
  • New Mexico State University – Grants
  • Saint John’s College
  • San Juan College
  • Santa Fe Community College
  • University of New Mexico
  • Western New Mexico University

Sixteen institutions completed the survey in 2016, which is up from 13 institutions in 2015. Let’s increase this number in 2017.

If you are interested in completing the 2017 survey and you have not received a survey invitation, please contact acrlsupport@countingopinions.com to request a username and password. Participation is free and only one survey per institution is necessary.

Samantha Rich is the Assessment & Data Management Librarian at New Mexico State University. Samantha chairs New Mexico Library Association’s Assessment & Statistics SIG. [All questions regarding the ACRL survey should be directed to acrlsupport@countingopinions.com.]

This is a new blog for academic librarians!

This is the blog of the newly revamped group for academic librarians in New Mexico, ACRL-NM. We are also now the academic special interest group of NMLA, so sometimes you’ll see us referred to as ACRL-NM/Academic SIG. Anyway, we are very excited to get started and we hope librarians in the state will benefit from increased communication and collaboration moving forward.